Targeting App Integration

Level 8 plans product bundle; Attunity debuts EAI exchange

Level 8 Systems Inc. and Attunity Ltd. are targeting software upgrades and new services at companies focused on gaining competitive advantage by integrating their existing applications instead of buying new ones.

Level 8, which earlier this month announced it is divesting itself of its Geneva AppBuilder software division to focus on EAI (enterprise application integration), is planning to bundle its Cicero application integration software, Geneva Enterprise Integrator and Business Process Automation workflow products.

While each product line will still be sold as a stand-alone module, the integration will create a more seamless flow between the products, company officials said. Cicero enables companies to integrate applications at the desktop level, while the Geneva and Business Process Automation lines enable application integration at the server level.

While a Geneva upgrade to Version 3.0 is expected next month, the real integration of the various products will begin to show up with the Geneva 4.0 release at the end of next year and the Cicero 5.0 release during the first quarter of next year, said officials in Cary, N.C. Those products will feature an open architecture based on J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), in addition to the tighter integration. Ciceros desktop integration capabilities will be enhanced in Version 5.0 to enable EAI at the desktop level in a matter of months vs. years, according to officials.

Separately, business process automation software developer Attunity, of Burlington, Mass., this month unveiled an online exchange where EAI developers can share information and source code, sign up for free courses or purchase products relating to complex application integrations.

Available on the Attunity Developer Exchange are the companys Business Process Integrator, which allows developers to generate Web services; and Attunity Connect, which allows developers to generate services from any database or data source, as well as from custom or legacy applications, according to officials.

Developer Kelly Jones said he will use Attunitys exchange to confer with other developers, particularly for an upcoming order management project that will involve business process integration.

Jones, a developer with Cleveland-based Penske Logistics, a unit of Penske Truck Leasing Co., has been using Attunity Connect since 1999 to access data from different data sources. Jones said he has had good experiences getting information from other developers on various Internet newsgroups and hopes that Attunity will maintain a neutral position when administering the new exchange.

Attunity should be "mindful that its developers talking to developers, and very little politics get involved at all. Its not the proper place to exchange company positions," Jones said.